Former soldiers from Akwa Ibom State who were demobilized after the civil war, but voluntarily transferred their services to the police have decried the non-payment of their entitlements by the Federal Government.
The Federal Government initiated a policy in the late 70s allowing literate soldiers who fought in the civil war the privilege to be trained as policemen in any of the police training colleges in Kaduna, Enugu, Maiduguri and Ikeja.
Those who had the training at the colleges were subsequently deployed to their states of origin as police officers.
However, they, under the aegis of Demobbed Soldiers Association of Nigeria, Akwa Ibom State branch, said they were compulsorily retired from the police without benefits because of the allegation that they masterminded a mutiny in 2002.
In a letter titled: “Save-Our-Soul” and addressed to President Muhammadu Buhari which copy was made available to our correspondent on Sunday in Uyo, the ex-soldiers who later became policemen pleaded for payment of their entitlements.
The letter dated June 30, was jointly signed by the group’s Patron, Chief Emmanuel John, Chairman, Evans Emperor and Secretary, Elder E. Orok respectively.
The letter reads in part: “In the year 2002, there was a police riot whereupon the regular police officers protested against their 10 years stagnation on a rank without promotion. It was alleged that transferred army men instigated the riot.
“Consequently, the transferred army officers and men of the police were ordered to vacate the police without their entitlements till date.
“Mr. President, it is germane to state here that upon the compulsory retirement, no entitlement and war bonus have been paid to us rather we were given only discharge certificate for 35 years of service to the nation.
“It is pertinent to mention here that between 1967 and 1969 when this country was at the point of breaking up, we jointly volunteered to the service to bring peace and kept Nigeria one and some died while defending the nation.”
They appealed to Buhari to wade into the matter by directing all demobbed soldiers in the country to go to the nearest military formation for documentation and subsequent payment of their entitlements as well as war bonus.